10-22-2015

What I Learned From My XC Team: Part 2

Last year, I wrote up a few things I learned from my cross country team and my first season coaching. Now, our second season is about to come to a close. We have our last meet on Sunday, which is our Region Championship meet. If any runners place top 7, they qualify for the National meet. I am hoping at least 2 will but we will see!

When working with students, you learn new things every day, whether it’s new “slang” or new ways to look at life in general. So today I wanted to talk a bit about what I learned this season from them.

If you're a runner, check out these 5 tips from college cross country runners!

Don’t Complain

This was my number one lesson. I think that people don’t realize how much they complain…and when you complain a lot, people get annoyed. If you have a goal, do the work in getting there, and don’t complain about how hard workouts are. I know I will use this tactic in my own life next time I think about complaining about something. Nagging pains? Sure. But complaining and asking to do less reps of a workout? “Come on bro.”

I think complaining is just a natural thing we do to make conversation…such as, “omg it’s so hot out,” “omg it’s so cold out,” “omg this workout is hard!” But after a while, the people you complain you will start getting tired of it, trust me. Just do the work – get it done. You’ll be proud of yourself when you finish a tough workout and push through.

Be Competitive

One of my runners is very competitive, and competitive with himself in practice. He has a great attitude and works hard every day. Now I’m not saying to make every practice a race, but I’ll give him times he needs to hit, and he will push himself hard to hit those times, as opposed to having an “I can’t” mentality. I’ll give him a pace, he will say oh WOW! but then push himself to get it done. We can all do this on our runs and workouts. You will surprise yourself by how you can push yourself. Sometimes my own running coach, Marc, gives me workouts and paces where I really doubt myself. Yet somehow it gets done. Compete with yourself and work to make yourself better every day.

Be Cocky

One of my runners said to me yesterday, “I don’t care if you’re cocky and confident, but just don’t act like people need to bow down to you.” Very true. He is very confident in his abilities, but also supportive of everyone else. There is nothing wrong with being cocky – in fact, it might even pump you up before races! Tell yourself that you’re fast, strong, faster than your competition…change your frame of mind. I love this quote by Ronda Rousey that relates to this:

Some people like to call me cocky or arrogant, but I just think, “How dare you assume I should think less of myself.”

So true, right??

Talent Doesn’t Matter, Attitude Does

This is something new I’ve learned this season. Of course every coach wants a team of all-stars, but we know that everyone has different skill levels. What I learned this year was this: Look, I don’t care if you run a 20 min. 5K or a 30 min. 5K. If you show up to practice every day, and work hard, THAT is what matters and makes an impression on me. Do not complain to me about your race times after a meet when you’re not putting in the effort every practice.

Don’t Judge By Running Form

The first day of practice, this student shows up and I took one look at him and thought he’d be an average runner. His form was not your typical running form. Well, guess what, he is the number one runner on our team and making improvements every race. If you saw him run, you would be surprised too! So I guess the age old adage don’t judge a book by the cover is true in most senses ;)

Overall, it was a great XC season and I am proud of what they have accomplished. I am crossing my fingers some of them qualify at the Region Championships – they really deserve it!

Can you relate to any of these? What do you think about complaining? After this season, I feel like I’ll never complain again :)

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